Link Love: Slacker Team Edition

no, not THOSE slackers


So it’s time for winter teams at the Yakezie Network, and guess who waited until teams were already formed to sign up? Several people actually, so I wasn’t alone for once.

I’m getting to know my new teammates’ sites, and you should too! Here are some posts I found interesting this week - check them out and let me know what you think!

Denise at The Single Saver is angry that Black Friday shopping is now creeping into Thanksgiving night, and I don’t blame her. Before long I guess we won’t even have holidays - just designated shopping days. Ugh.

Marissa at Thirty-Six Months tells us how to avoid impulse buying online. This is definitely something I need to work on - this weekend I saw a buy 2 get 1 free deal and ordered before I even thought about it. I only spend $20 but still.

Money Cactus gives us some tips on how to become a millionaire. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about it since I’m about to be unemployed, but you never know.

Lisa at Cents to Save updates us on her “stupid” credit card debt, which has decreased significantly since last month. Way to go, Lisa! Keep up the good work!

Melissa at Mom’s Plans reminds us to use written goals to pay down debt. I don’t even want to think about goals right now since so many of mine have failed this year, but eventually it’ll be time to get back on track.

Doctor Stock at Invest in the Markets tells us how to choose a discount broker. His criteria are the similar to the process I used, but it would have been awesome to have a list right in front of me like this.

Aaron Hung writes about the importance of consistency. He’s talking about blogging, but this information could easily be applied to lots of other areas.

This week should be pretty exciting - you’ll be able to vote for me to win a blogging contract, read a rant about one of my coworkers (no, not that one), and enter my Black Friday giveaway! Don’t miss out - you can subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook to stay informed of all the latest news!

Confession: I’m a Quitter

No intro or lead-in for this one. I’ll just come right out and say it: I put in my 30-day notice at my job.

A couple of things happened on Monday that left me ready to scream. First, the VP of Finance found a payroll error that left the company owing me quite a bit of money. I’ll get that money on my paycheck this weekend. He also noticed the mountain of billing issues going on in the office and acknowledged that I have been underpaid for months, but told me I would probably never see that money because of the effort it would take to uncover all the billing mistakes.

Second, I was asked to do something that is unethical and could cause me to lose my license. Which I flat out refused to do. I won’t go into details, but it was clear that the company’s position on the matter was different from mine. And I believe they invented this issue in an attempt to get rid of me since I was raising such a stink about my paychecks.

Well, they win. I put in my notice and my last day will be December 15. If I’m going to be broke, I’m going to do it MY way, not theirs. Monday night was the first time in months that I actually had a good night’s rest.

Now What?

I know some of you probably think I’m an idiot, quitting my job when I don’t have another job lined up. And part of me agrees with you. In this economy, having a job at all is something to celebrate.

But I’m tired of working in a stressful environment for paychecks that don’t even cover my bills. I’m tired of being exhausted all the time from a career I hate. And I’m willing to take my chances with unemployment if it means a little bit of peace for a change.

I’ve been applying for jobs for months, and I’ll continue to do that. But right now, my mind keeps returning to the idea of trying to stay home for awhile. Freelancing and blogging have been paying most of my bills since August, so why not kick it up a few notches and see how it goes? Anything is better than what I’ve been doing.

I might fail. I might succeed beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t know. Right now, all I know is that I’m okay with the decision I made. And I hope you guys don’t think I’m a total dumbass, though it’s certainly your right to think so if you want.

Making Your Budget a Success

This post was provided by thinkbanking.

Keeping our finances in check isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be. Especially in tough times like these, making sure we keep on top of how we spend our cash is important - which means finding a way that works for you.

Successful budgeting is a tried-and-tested method of managing your money well and making sure all your financial commitments are taken care of.

Here are some top tips for making your monthly budget a success.

Keep track of your spending

There’s no point in keeping a budget that only works on paper - but getting it all down on paper is a good place to start (or a spreadsheet, if you’re more computer-minded).

Making a list of all the things you spend your income on every month should give you a much better idea of exactly where your money’s going.

Of course, you’ll have essential costs to take into account from month to month: such as your rent/mortgage, utilities, fuel costs and food bills. However, you may realise that you’re spending too much on your cell phone bill, or on things you and your kids basically don’t need - and making a budget can give you an idea of how to move your money around so you can cover the cost of the important things, and cut back on the non-essential extras.

There are certain bank accounts that could help you to budget, by separating your money into different accounts, e.g. one for your utility bills and other essentials - and another that’s just for your ‘spending money’. This could reassure you that you’re never spending beyond your means. Take a look here for more information on how you could do this.

Keeping a close eye on your statements - and using internet banking to get regular updates on the shape of your balance - could also help you to stay in control of your finances as a whole.

Stay within your spending limit

Once all your essential costs have been accounted for, whatever you have left is your ‘spending money’. As long as you spend within your means, you shouldn’t have to turn to credit cards or other forms of debt just to get by.

There are some ‘traps’ you could easily fall into when it comes to over-spending - but there are often straightforward ways of avoiding them. If you’re going shopping and worried that you may spend too much on your debit card, why not take out only the cash you can realistically afford to spend - and leave your card at home?

If you feel you might give in to temptation, you could try telling your friends about your plans - you could even help each other to stay within budget, by organising nights in rather than going out, and renting a movie rather than going for an expensive trip to the cinema.

Stay motivated!

A successful budget won’t just help you financially in the short term - it could help you achieve your financial goals in the future too. If you feel reluctant to cut back on certain things, think about the money you’ll be saving, which you could put towards a vacation, a deposit for a new apartment, or the cost of redecorating - it’s up to you.

Feeling 2 Inches Tall (Or, My Trip to the Medicaid Office)

Some of you may have missed it, but my ex-husband got fired from his job last week. I’m relieved that we’re divorced and it doesn’t directly affect me, but that’s not the point. The point is that he carried my son’s health insurance, and that coverage ended once the ex signed his termination notice. The way my luck has been lately, there’s no way I’m going to let my child go without health insurance. I had to do whatever it took to get him covered, and in a hurry.

Which meant walking into the Medicaid office on Monday morning after swearing years ago that I would NEVER set foot in there again.

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